Nevada Newsmakers

News - May 16, 2023 - by Ray Hagar

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Despite the political tension between the two major parties, Nevada's 2nd U.S. House District Rep. Mark Amodei, predicted on Nevada Newsmakers recently that the House of Representatives would pass an immigration bill this year.

Amodei's prediction came true days later. Last week, House Republicans passed a border security package that lawmakers from both parties -- and from both houses of Congress -- said could spark serious negotiations on immigration.

I'll be bold here," Amodei told host Sam Shad. "Don't tell anybody: Immigration reform will pass out of the House in this Congress."

Amodei praised the work already done this session on immigration by House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La. However, Amodei would make no prediction how the immigration reform bill would be received by the Senate.

In the U.S. House, no Democrats voted for the immigration package, which included finishing the Trump-sanctioned wall across the Southern border with Mexico:

"We'll see what the Senate wants to do," Amodei said.

Amodei, R-Carson City, also was critical of a Fox News host for souring the national debate on immigration.

He said some members of Congress are wary of talking about immigration reform because they, "think that their base is going to go nuts because what's-her-name on Fox? Laura Ingraham. Every time you say immigration, she automatically gets a case of Tourettes (Syndrome) and says 'amnesty.'"

Amodei appears to want to start immigration reform with "The Dreamers,"  migrants with temporary immigration protection who arrived in the U.S. as children yet are ineligible to apply for citizenship.

"Dreamers are low hanging fruit," Amodei said. "It's one of those things -- they're serving in the military. And I'm not here to do an ad for any of those folks. I'm just saying there are solutions that do not require somebody to tear up the Constitution or to throw the borders open."

No major immigration-reform package has been passed since the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act. Amodei lamented the fact that it is Congress' duty to enact immigration policy but nothing substantial has been accomplished for almost 40 years.

Not since Ronald Reagan (was president)," Amodei said.

"And the fact that it hasn't been done by Congress is ... I lay entirely on both sides. I mean, it's a bipartisan hit, if you will," he said.

Amodei scoffs at the idea that undocumented immigrants are taking jobs away from American workers. The Federation of American Immigration Reform estimates that there are about 7 million undocumented immigrants in the national workforce with a total population of the undocumented at 12 million.

A Brooking Senior Fellow research project showed instances of undocumented immigrants "stealing" jobs from American workers is low.

"However, undocumented workers often work the unpleasant, back-breaking jobs that native-born workers are not willing to do,” the report stated.

If undocumented workers are taking away jobs for U.S. citizens, then why do so many posted jobs go unclaimed, Amodei asked.

"You know that stuff, 'Well, they're taking jobs that Americans want?'" Amodei said. "Well, I'm not seeing it. I could be missing it. But the examples are not there.

"Reports say, oh, there's X million jobs available," Amodei said. "It's like, well, clearly, nobody's filling them."

The immigration issue has become too politicized to reform, Amodei said.

"I don't want to generalize -- but everything that gets uber-politicized in terms of finding solutions, in my experience, most of the time, gets destroyed, which is sad," he said.

The value of undocumented workers will soon be put to the test in Florida. Some believe a new Florida law, recently signed and praised by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, will crack down on illegal immigration.

However, the law is expected to have a wide-ranging impact on a number of industries vital to Florida's economy -- from farming to construction -- according to a report by WPTV in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Sources told WPTV that some farm workers are already too fearful to go to work and could leave the state, which would cause a major crisis for Florida agriculture.

MARCHANT WILL RUN FOR SENATE: Jim Marchant, an election denier and Trump supporter who lost his general-election race for Nevada’s secretary of state in 2022, said last week he will run for U.S. Senate against incumbent Democrat Jacky Rosen.

National observers see the swing-state race as one that could decide the majority party in the Upper House.

Amodei did not endorse Marchant on Nevada Newsmakers but remarked how expensive a U.S. Senate race can be.

"You know, he didn't call me and ask for advice, if you can believe that," Amodei joked.

"But supposedly, there's a rumor he's bringing in a national guy that was in the Clinton White House," Amodei said. "I should know his name. But anyhow, so your question becomes, who's going to pay for that? So, you know, it's America. Anybody can run. And so there you go.

"I guess the scariest thing about it is it has become such a money Olympics that in pursuit of the money, I think we're missing some substance," he said.

"I remember when (in 2010 U.S. Senate race) Harry Reid and Sharron Angle, oh, my God, Harry Reid spent $26 million and Sharron Angle had $22 (million). That's not even a primary (now).

TRUMP vs BIDEN (AGAIN) -- Shad asked Amodei when the national transition to younger candidates will take place. Currently a presidential rematch of 2020, Biden vs. Trump, is looming for 2024.

President Biden will be 81 years old and Trump will be 78 when the 2024 election is held.

"It (transition of candidates) obviously isn't going to come early in 2024 because neither one of them are going, 'Thanks for the memories. I'm going to go join the older-I-get, the-better-I-was club," Amodei said.

"But I'll also say this: If it's going to be kind of an objective analysis, I think there's also a segment out there, we'll see how big it is, that doesn't want to rematch. And I'll just I'll just leave it at that," Amodei said.

Amodei was then asked if the 2024 presidential campaign could turn into 'The Battle of the VPs (vice presidential candidates). His reply:

  "I hope not," he said.

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